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Cisco Shines a Spotlight on the Dark Web
Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 04:47:00 PM
Cisco today launched Cisco® IronPort® Web Usage Controls, a next-generation acceptable-use product that offers real-time content categorization to accurately identify up to 90 percent of Dark Web sites in the most egregious content categories. Web 2.0 sites built on collaboration technologies with dynamic content and high churn are largely unknown to legacy URL-list-based solutions, creating a Dark Web that greatly increases the compliance, legal liability and productivity risks associated with Web traffic. Available as a software blade on the Cisco IronPort S-Series highly secure Web gateway, Cisco IronPort Web Usage Controls includes a dynamic content analysis engine that works in tandem with Cisco's comprehensive URL-filtering database to deliver industry-leading efficacy and coverage across all content types. This combination improves the ability of organizations to manage how and when users can access the Web, eliminating risks associated with misuse, compliance violations and reduced productivity.
The Dark Web:

* The Cisco Security Intelligence Operations (SIO) estimates that more than 80 percent of the Web is "dark," meaning uncategorized by legacy URL-filtering databases. Cisco refers to this as the Dark Web.
* The Dark Web has been formed largely as a result of the de-centralization of content creation ushered in by Web 2.0, including the proliferation of blogs and social networking sites, which has contributed to an explosion in the total number of Web pages in recent years. Sheer volume and churn of content has been further exacerbated by an increase in password-protected and dynamically generated content to overwhelm the legacy approaches to Web content categorization, which were developed to address a Web with a relatively small number of static, well-linked sites.
* With approximately 45 billion Web pages overall and 32 million new domains being added yearly, the percentage of Web that is dark is expected to grow exponentially over time. A new approach, based on effective real-time categorization, is required if acceptable use is to regain its efficacy in a Web 2.0 world.

Cisco IronPort Web Usage Controls:

* Combines a best-in-class URL-filtering database with a real-time Dynamic Content Analysis Engine. The URL-filtering database provides exceptional coverage for traditional Web content, while the Dynamic Content Analysis Engine accurately identifies 90 percent of dynamic Web 2.0 content that remains "dark" to list-based filtering.
* The Dynamic Content Analysis Engine is tuned to accurately identify content in commonly blocked categories. Cisco's analysis indicates that the Dynamic Content Analysis Engine identifies 50 percent more objectionable content than first-generation solutions or solutions relying entirely on a list, significantly reducing the compliance and legal liability risks presented by Web 2.0 traffic.
* Includes a comprehensive URL database with 65 URL categories and coverage for sites in more than 200 countries and over 50 languages. The URL database is updated every five minutes by Cisco Security Intelligence Operations.
* Provides rich policy controls and integrates with user directories for identity-based policy enforcement, with flexibility to enforce multiple actions including blocking, allowing, decrypting, warning and monitoring access.
* Web Usage Controls is integrated into the Cisco IronPort S-Series Web Security Appliance. The Cisco IronPort S-Series Web Security Appliance is the industry's fastest highly secure Web gateway integrating acceptable use enforcement (URL filtering), reputation filtering, malware filtering and data security on a single platform. By combining innovative security technologies, the Cisco IronPort S-Series helps organizations address the growing challenges of both securing and controlling Web traffic. Over time, Cisco expects to bring Web Usage Controls and dynamic categorization technology into other relevant Cisco network devices.
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